San Antonio, TX – The fight to keep tolls off existing freeways will reach new heights on Monday, October 26, as the local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will take action on whether or not to remove 281(north of 1604) and the most congested part of 1604 (on the west side from 151 to Bandera Rd) from the toll plans.
The sparks are still flying as both sides seek to line-up the votes on the 19 member board: 10 elected, 9 appointed. Toll opponents are hopping mad that last week, the roadside signs promoting the meeting mysteriously dropped the notice that the meeting was about toll roads. Then, after the MPO committee of city, county, TxDOT, and Via staffers tasked with vetting and comparing both a toll and non-toll option for the Board’s consideration failed to advance a non-toll option after three meetings, MPO Chair Commissioner Tommy Adkisson directed TxDOT to sponsor one and advance a plan (by making a 2005 Zachry plan that was previously vetted and adopted by the MPO a non-toll option) by noon last Thursday, October 22, to which TxDOT District Engineer Mario Medina sent this letter in response flat-out refusing to sponsor any kind of non-toll option! Read TURF’s take on the events here.
Then, the partially taxpayer-funded San Antonio Mobility Coalition has consistently lobbied for tolling of all types, and has sent out multiple emails blasts to it’s 70 private companies, the majority of whom profit directly from road building (and who want a road building slush fund), to lobby the MPO Board in favor of higher taxes (tolls). SAMCo itself is also lobbying the Board, in part, on the taxpayers’ dime with “sky is falling” type hysteria. It’s already causing a backlash among taxpayers. Read more here.
WHO/WHAT: MPO Meeting to vote down 281/1604 toll roads
WHEN: Monday, October 26 @ 6:00 PM
WHERE: Alzafar Shrine Temple, 901 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78232
TURF is spreading the word through two street banners (one at 281 & Evans Rd and the other at 1604 & Braun Rd.), by passing out thousands of fliers (see it here) in the proposed toll corridors, a special web site with meeting information and which elected officials to call, as well as making robo phone calls to get folks to the October 26 meeting. Their message?
Toll roads mean…
• $12/day or $3,000/year in new toll-taxes! (Based on published estimates)
• Guarantees congestion by prohibiting expansion of free routes! (prevents surrounding arteries like Stone Oak, Blanco, Bulverde, Bandera, Braun, and Shaenfield from being widened)
• TRIPLE TAXATION! (1-Paid for existing road, 2-will use tax $ to build it, 3-charge toll-tax to drive on it)
• Hands our public roads to foreign corporations for 50 years! (Two Spanish companies already have 5 contracts in TX)
• Businesses will pass toll-tax on to YOU! (Prices for goods & services will skyrocket)
More information at www.FixGridlock.com.